LOS ANGELES --Portland Trail Blazersforward Dorell Wright is expected to miss four to six weeks because of a broken bone in his left hand, keeping a key reserve out of Portland's lineup heading into the playoffs.
Wright injured his non-shooting hand during Wednesday's 126-122 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Subsequent X-rays confirmed he broke the fourth metacarpal, sidelining him well into any playoff run by the Blazers and forcing coach Terry Stotts to alter his rotation again.
"We'll have to change it up a little bit," Stotts said at Staples Center before the Blazers' game against the Los Angeles Lakers. "Obviously, Dorell gave us some versatility. There's never a good time for an injury like that."
Wright is averaging 4.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 12.4 minutes in 48 games this season, making two starts. The 11-year NBA veteran and Los Angeles native has taken on an increased role after starting guard Wesley Matthews ruptured his Achilles tendon last month.
"Both he and Wes were playing so well when they got hurt," Stotts said. "They enjoy being part of the group and being on the court, so it's tough right now."
To replace the 6-foot-9 Wright, Stotts suggested Arron Afflalo might play more frequently in a small forward role, while other regulars could play extended minutes depending on the matchup.
"Maybe we just get (the rotation) down to bare bones and keep it simple," Stotts said.
With four wins in five games following a five-game skid, the Blazers are still in the race for home-court advantage in the Western Conference. When Friday's games began, just one game separated Portland (48-26), San Antonio (49-26) and the Clippers (50-26) in the race for fourth place in the West.